In anticipation of a possible vote today by the Republican-controlled Senate Labor Regulatory Reform Committee in the Wisconsin legislature to repeal prevailing wage laws for public works projects, an April 24 forum was held by the Wisconsin Transportation Development Association to discuss the political and economic ramifications of such a move.
OneWisconsinNow.org has released a video it obtained from that forum where guest speaker Republican Indiana House Assistant Majority Leader Ed Soliday angrily reveals that similar legislation passed in Indiana which went into effect in 2015 “hasn’t saved a penny.”
“We got rid of prevailing wage and so far it hasn’t saved a penny,” Soliday says during the question and answer session last week hosted by the Wisconsin Transportation Development Association in Milwaukee. “Probably the people most upset with us repealing [prevailing] wage were the locals. Because the locals, quite frankly, like to pay local contractors and they like local contractors to go to the dentist in their own town.”
In the video, Republican Soliday also mocks the outrageous claims about savings made by right-wing organizations like Americans for Prosperity. In Indiana, anti-worker groups claimed prevailing wage repeal would save taxpayers 22 percent on construction costs.
“The exaggerations in those hearings that we were going save 22 percent,” Soliday says. “Well, total labor costs right now in road construction is about 22 percent, and I haven’t noticed anyone who’s going to work for free. [They claim] there’s some magic state out there that’s going to send all these workers into work for $10 an hour and it’s just not going to happen. There’s not 22 percent savings out there when the total cost of labor is 22 percent. It’s rhetoric.”
Soliday adds, “So far, I haven’t seen a dime of savings out of it.”
See the video below and read the entire news release from OneWisconsinNow.org HERE.